Do you know pressure on the cervix and incessant contractions of uterine muscles lead to labor pain during childbirth? Mothers experience forceful cramping in the abdomen, groin, back, and thighs. Though labor is painful for everyone, the intensity of pain varies from one woman to another. You cannot evade it, but you can manage it with some tried-and-tested tips and have a relatively pain-free delivery.
Why Labor Pain During Childbirth
During childbirth, the uterine muscles contract to pull cervical muscles up so that the baby can be pushed through. The muscles of the uterus contract fast without getting enough time in between to relax. This leads to extreme achy feeling and pain as the labor progress.
The baby’s head tries to push through and causes severe pressure on the bladder and bowels. Simultaneous stretching of the vagina and the birth canal to allow the baby to pass through also contribute to cramping in the pelvic area.
Though medication is an option, it may not relieve pain completely and have potential side effects for your baby. You can have better pain management without drugs.
With adequate preparation, you can increase your relaxation level and condition your body to cope with pain. Here are a few tips to find out the right strategy to maximize your comfort level and discover the best way to manage labor pain during childbirth.
Choose A Soothing Environment To Reduce Labor Pain
You cannot avoid the labor pain completely, but minimize it when giving birth to your baby in a more soothing environment. Find out a hospital or home setting where you can have absolute comfort. A relaxed ambiance with the presence of known people, experts, adequate space, and tools ensures greater consolation. The more the reassurance of appropriate care, the better the ability to fight back!
So, select a hospital that has a friendly staff and expert midwives willing to treat you with respect. You may request the presence of your partner or loved ones at the time of childbirth.
Relaxation Techniques To Manage Labor Pain
When labor pain starts, practice various relaxation techniques to overcome the fear of achy feeling. These mind-altering techniques safeguard you from being tensed up and this saves you from worsening pain. Don’t think about pain, but try to prolong pain-free moments.
Relaxation techniques to minimize labor pain include:
- Mind diversion using various tools, such as music, imagination, visualization
- Breathing exercises
- Walking around
- Trying with position changes
- Warm bath
- Distracting from the fear of pain
You need to practice these techniques well before the date of delivery so that you can use them more effectively to manage labor pain during childbirth.
Regular Exercise Helps in Reducing Labor Pain During Childbirth
Your pre-pregnancy health can come to your aid during delivery. Daily exercise regimen and stretching poses strengthen your body muscles. This enables them to bear more labor stress while your body exhibits the higher level of endurance. Now you are better placed to withstand greater pressure linked to muscle contraction during labor pain.
However, you must avoid extreme stretching or workouts to prepare yourself to deal with labor pain during childbirth. It may adversely impact your ability to get pregnant.
Use Lamaze Technique To Dilute Labor Pain Perception
It is more a philosophy to empower women during childbirth than a tool to beat back labor pain. The Lamaze technique educates prospective mothers to decrease their pain perception using a variety of relaxation methods.
It inculcates the message that childbirth is normal, natural, and healthy and that a woman can deal with it with confidence and without inhibition. This provides a psychological boost and increases the endurance ability with reduced focus on pain. The education process uses distraction, visualization, rhythmic breathing, and supportive ways to empower women to reject the fear of labor pain during childbirth.
Husband-Coached Birth To Minimize Labor Pain
Also known as the Bradley method, it focuses on the role of fathers as a birth coach for expectant mothers. He is to care for his wife, share her concerns, and coach her to develop best-possible coping mechanisms.
The process advocates good nutrition, exercise, and practice of relaxation techniques as an alternative to medication unless there is any unexpected complication. It focuses on adequate preparation of your body physically and using ways that enhance comfort level to cope with labor pain during childbirth. A soothing voice or visualization of a calming ambiance helps you stay calm and relaxed and tones down the pain perception.
Overcome Your Fear of Labor Pain
If you are worried about labor pain during childbirth, you have higher chances of experiencing it with increased intensity. Try to learn about what leads to pain during delivery and speak to friends, family members, and others who have experienced it. Find out how to condition your body to deal with extreme muscle contraction and pressure at the time of childbirth.
Visit hospitals to see the ambiance and find out the preferred setting, so as to convince yourself that you will deliver your baby in a soothing environment. Familiarize yourself with childbirth through books, magazines, web sources, classes, and videos. Increase your endurance and comfort level.
Rhythmic Breathing Inhibits Labor Pain During Childbirth
Practice rhythmic breathing well in advance and use it to release tension. Take a deep breath with abdominal muscle contraction and exhale with a relaxing sound when the contraction is over. Repeat the procedure quickly and swiftly at every 2-3 seconds with hand movements in sync. Use your nose to breathe in and mouth to breathe out. Stay focused on the breathing exercise.
Avoid making loud moaning, as it may tense up your throat and tighten the muscles, increasing the pain perception.
Water Therapy for Reduced Labor Pain
Warm water has the capability to soothe your body and scale down the feeling of pain. This is being increasingly used nowadays to ensure diminishing labor pain during childbirth. A warm shower or bath can help decrease pain with its spa-like soothing properties.
Water birth is also being increasingly preferred. The mother spends the final labor stage in a birthing pool. Warm water makes uterine muscle contractions easy to endure. The childbirth may happen in or out of the water.
Move Around and Change Positions
You may get respite from intense pain as you walk, lean, or change positions. While the efficacy of the method is subject to your comfort level, it certainly eases the pain. Although you may not get adequate space in a hospital setting to change positions or walk as you are hooked up to monitoring instruments, you can move your knees, hands, and legs. You can also sit on the bed or lean against the pillow. These activities also contribute to labor progress, as the gravitational force facilitates easy movement of the baby down the pelvic canal.
Massage Therapy Decreases Labor Pain During Childbirth
A gentle massaging touch on your back or stroking your hair gives you a soothing experience and reduces the pain feeling. Even holding hands work wonder. The care and assurance it conveys give you the strength to overcome labor pain.
Research also shows a woman feels more comfort at the time of childbirth when her partner rubs her head, temples, or hands. It does not lead to any physical intervention, but love and affection give a psychological boost to endurance. The method also leads to distraction from pain and its perception.
Ravneet also blogs at www.wellnessguide.com
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